Retail group Mr Price listed growth of online sales as a highlight of the first four months of its financial year — though it only contributed about 1% of the group’s overall income.

"Online sales continued to grow strongly by 28.1% to R83.2m. The MRP Apparel online channel achieved sales growth of 37.6%, MRP Home 19.5% and MRP Sport 31.3%," Mr Price said in a trading update for the 18 weeks to August 4.

Revenue from the group’s cellphone kiosks performed even better, growing 56.7% to R196.5m.

The group’s retail sales and other income grew 7.4% to R7.4bn from the first 18 weeks of its 2017 financial year.

Miladys was the group’s star performer, growing sales 9.1%, followed by MRP Home which grew sales 7.7%.

Miladys, however, suffered the highest inflation of 5.8%.

Sheet Street was the laggard with 3.8% sales growth, but it was the only chain within the group to see product deflation of 1.6%.

"South African sales increased 6.4% to R6.4bn, exceeding the combined sales growth of 3.5% for [comparable] retailers as reported by Statistics SA for April to June, the period for which market information is available," the trading update said.

"Sales in nonSouth African corporate-owned stores grew 9.1% to R520.8m, aided by the inclusion of the previously franchised Kenyan stores from late May 2018. Excluding Kenya, corporate owned store growth was 1.8%."

Mr Price’s share price fell 0.79% after it released the update on Thursday morning, making it fare slightly worse than the JSE’s general retail index, which fell 0.76%.